Natto has been made by fermenting soy beans and has been eaten in the Far East for centuries. The fermentation process increases the Vitamin K2 content several times over. Scientific studies suggest the ingredient can help support bone and heart health.
From this source, Frutarom is supplying UniK2, which is produced by J-Oil Mills in Japan using Bacillus natto a bacteria naturally occurring in Natto.
The extract provides Vitamin K2 as menaquinone-7 (MK-7) the most bioavailable and bioactive form of Vitamin K. It was approved in July this year as a Novel Food ingredient in foods and food supplements under EU regulations. In addition, Vitamin K won a positive generic article 13.1 health claim opinion from the European Food Safety Authority last year, which linked it to the maintenance of normal bones and normal blood coagulation.
Frutarom claims UniK2's efficacy lasts longer than other forms of Vitamin K. The company said it helps prevent osteoporosis by activating a protein called osteocalcin and producing optimal binding of calcium to bones.
The ingredient also combats the build-up of calcium deposits on arterial walls, protecting against arterial calcification.
UniK2 is available in powder form or as an oil. It has been designed for use in a wide range of products mainly classical dietary supplements, bone and heart health formulas and functional foods such as beverages, dairy products, nutrition bars and bakery products. Because of the ailments it helps to fight, Frutarom said its target consumers included women and older people.
Frutarom is the latest ingredients player to join the growing frenzy surrounding Vitamin K2 blends. In October, Danisco launched ActivK its own branded version of long- chained MK-7 also derived from natto, following Norwegian firm Kappa BioSciences launch of its cost-effective synthetic MK-7 product, K2Vital, in August.